Firmnessis appropriate to use with children of all ages; because it is a method and a manner of interaction. The underlying idea of firmness is the mother’s feeling that she is in control; that she possesses the ability to absorbthe child, to affect the child and to hold a discussion with him/her.
It also means a mother’s awareness of what she wants; of what she expects of her child and of other alternatives to resort to when the child refuses to comply.
Moreover, firmness means being psychologically orientated to the fact that the child would be disobedient sometimes, and that this is a part of the child’s development and growth. Being firm means accepting all of this; becausea mother’s normal and calm reaction to a child’s disobedience makes the child retreat or at least realize that his/her methods won’t be effective the next time.
Being firm is to talk clearly and briefly, not to be grim-faced, to be comfortable with oneself as well as with one’s child and to be in control of one’s own emotions.
Being firmis about beingyour true self. It implies that you observe the rules you set; whether you are alone with your children, visiting friends or at the market. It means that my children know exactly what pleases me and what ticks me off!!!
Being firm means persistence, not stubbornness. So, if you start out firmly, by saying:“Now is bedtime”… then bedtime is now. But do not insist that a child goes to bed instantly, nor engage in an argument or a fight; but, quietly withdraw and seize another chance to obtain what you wished to achieve…
Some commented that it is difficult to become firm!!! I find this strange; because it is much easier than snapping or becoming nervous. Besides, it saves you the effort of yelling and the burden of excessive talking.
Once children get used to firmness, they will know their limits and what is expected of them; and once they realize who is in charge, they will in turn start to comply.
Finally, being firm and decisive means being able to be lenient; it means turning a blind eye and allowing a little more sometimes; but only because you choose to do so and not because you feel helpless, because you feel like a failure or because all of a sudden you have a visitor.
Have you been firm today?